We live in a digital world and for the hospitality sector this means your guests expect a seamless and continually-improved experience from every visit they make to your restaurant, and every interaction they have with you online.
But how can you better understand which technology will benefit your restaurant the most by adding value, increasing margins, providing really useful functionality, and lowering your purchase and ledger costs?
Admittedly, choosing a new or replacement restaurant reservation, table or booking management system can sometimes feel like a bit of a minefield. There can be way too many choices of software available, and most restaurant, pub, café or bar owners would rather spend their time building their business.
However, let’s simplify the choices. It’s clear that having all of your key data in one place to run a busy restaurant means you need an online, cloud-based system, where everything is available at the touch of your fingertips and 100 per cent reliable and secure.
Not only this but everything within the system needs to integrate flawlessly. It’s impossible to emphasise enough the importance of making sure everything in your existing and future systems works jointly and without conflict, giving you the confidence that the system can be scaled-up as your restaurant grows.
Here are the seven key areas that should be included in any restaurant software choice you make and which MUST integrate effectively:
On a daily operational basis, electronic point-of-sale, or ePOS, is a crucial integration. Without this, transactions appearing in one system will have to be manually reconciled to another. An interconnected flow of data between systems means there are never any mis-matches resulting that waste time and money.
Demand for e-payment tech among the public has never been higher. Customers want to book and pay for their restaurant reservations online so connect perfectly with a reputable payment provider such as Stripe, or a consolidating payment gateway like Worldpay to see the cash start rolling in.
Linking your customer database within your restaurant technology to an off-the-shelf email and SMS marketing campaign programencoyrages new and existing customers to spend more, make more reservations and engage with your special offers.
4. Social media
It’s difficult to imagine a modern restaurant which doesn’t allow customers to book via Facebook. Any software products you review that don’t feature this integration should be treated with caution, because without this additional sales channel you will be missing out on revenue.
Contact Relationship Management or ‘CRM’ systems take basic email marketing platforms to the next level by delivering a far more granular approach to managing customers’ data. They essentially provide an A-Z customer journey with a range of tools that allow the restaurant to interact directly with their audiences and better understand their spending habits.
6. Booking channels
Restaurant reservation systems will always offer online booking on the restaurant’s website. However, in an increasingly competitive sector this might not be enough to fill the restaurant to capacity and unless the restaurant management software has an integration with the channel in question there will be a lot of time-consuming manual data transfer to deal with. Do yourself a huge favour and pick a fully-integrated system which will accurately transfer bookings, customer data and transactions between platforms so you can concentrate on running your restaurant to the maximum.
The boom in dine at home, particularly during the pandemic, created a lifeline for many restaurants and has seen significant growth in a number of national and international brands. The best restaurant reservation and pre-ordering systems will integrate with a range of partners, or even one multi-consolidating partner, to converge the orders into consistent and manageable information which is automatically sent to the site’s main system.
A platform like Favouritetable’s online restaurant management system features all of the above and more as a single suite of functionality that turns compliance into happy customers, including modules for online booking and pre-ordering, special event bookings, table pre-ordering and payment, and timeslot scheduling.
Add to this an intuitive booking diary, graphic table plans, marketing module and customer database, and you’ve got a system that’s been built by a team who are restaurateurs at heart, and understand the everyday challenges your business faces.
Of course, the other and perhaps most revolutionary aspect of Favouritetable is its price. We opted for a fixed, monthly-subscription model, rather than top-slicing the restaurant’s hard-earned cash like so many of our competitors do. This being the case, just switching to Favouritetable alone will have a positive impact on your restaurants’ finances – food for thought!
For further details: https://restaurant.favouritetable.com/